Archaeo-Blogger David Gill reports that there has been a "swell of opinion" against proposed legislation designed to encourage the reporting of hidden artifacts in the Italian public's hands. See http://lootingmatters.blogspot.com/2010/07/italy-swell-of-opinion-against-change.html He is particularly impressed that there are 5,000 members on a related Facebook Site and some 3000 individuals who have signed an on-line petition against the law.
Still, I wonder if this is just the latest anti-Berlusconi effort by members of Italy's left-leaning academic community. Previously, at least 7,000 academics signed a petition decrying Berlusconi's appointment of Mario Resca, a former McDonald's executive, as Italy's museum boss. Resca was charged with alleged plans for "reducing art to a negotiable commodity" and "introducing a process of disposable consumerism" at Italy's cultural sites. See http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5356273,00.html Yet, Resca continues to serve in the post and is still trying to turn around Italy's museum establishment. http://culturalpropertyobserver.blogspot.com/2009/01/mario-resca-to-rescue.html
In any event, Berlusconi is perhaps even less popular with Italy's academics than President George Bush was with our own. See http://culturalpropertyobserver.blogspot.com/2009/07/archaeologists-demand-investigation-as.html In the meantime, news of the legislation's demise is apparently premature. Although it has been removed as a budget measure, Gill suggests that the Italian Government may still seek to press for the change in the law.